URBN achieves the retail-resale-rental trifecta with launch of Nuuly Thrift
Glossy | 12 October 2021
Fashion resale and fashion rental have both seen massive growth in the last five years, driven by many of the same factors: Customers want cheaper, more sustainable access to high-quality brands at fast-fashion prices. But resale has been in a better spot than rental since the pandemic began. Suddenly, the need for a constant rotation of special occasion attire was no longer necessary, and rental suffered.
Increasingly, rental companies like Rent the Runway have been turning to resale. On Tuesday, URBN’s Nuuly rental service added a resale service called Nuuly Thrift, making URBN one of the first major fashion companies to house retail, resale and rental businesses under one roof. Nuuly Thrift is a peer-to-peer resale marketplace, as opposed to a consignment service like The RealReal. Nuuly customers can now sell clothes — any clothes, not just from URBN brands — directly to other users. They then get either a cash payout or a 10% higher payout in Nuuly Cash, which can be used for Nuuly Thrift purchases or at any of URBN’s brands like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Nuuly Thrift will primarily be marketed through emails and targeted social ads to existing Nuuly renters, as well as to customers at the company’s other brands.
Macy’s is reportedly being pushed to spin off its e-commerce business: Should any retailer do that?
Retail Dive | 7 October 2021
Macy’s shares outpaced the stock market much of Wednesday afternoon after an activist investor suggested it split its e-commerce business into a separate company the way Saks Fifth Avenue did earlier this year. Several news reports described remarks from Scott Ostfeld, partner and co-portfolio manager of Jana Strategic Investments, speaking at the 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit Wednesday, in which he reportedly said that Macy’s stock price could double if it made such a move. Macy’s e-commerce operation alone could be worth $14 billion, compared to its current $6.9 billion valuation, Reuters reported Ostfeld as also saying.
The idea isn’t entirely without precedent. Years ago, retailers that also sold through catalogs would often run those operations as a separate business, according to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, who was chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Canada in the early part of this century. “That made sense back in the day because logistically, financially, operationally, the two businesses were night and day,” he said by phone. “The belief was that the customer was separate and distinct. In other words, the Sears Roebuck catalog customer didn’t shop in a store, didn’t live near a store. So the two shared the name, and major categories of products, but that was it. Of course it never made any sense in the eyes of the customer.”
How Ilia Changed the Convention of Clean Beauty
CEW | 27 September 2021
LIA founder Sasha Plavsic sought out to create a brand with clean ingredients, thoughtful packaging, and pragmatic design. And in May 2011, ILIA launched in a boutique in Vancouver, Canada. “It took eight years to reach $10 million in sales. Since 2019, we have grown more than 10 times in gross revenue.” Sasha’s beliefs are simple: skin should look like skin, and radiance should come naturally. “With transparency as our guide and color as our vehicle, we challenge the conventions of clean beauty to create something radically new through safe, potent formulas that protect and revive skin,” she explains.
ILIA now generates more than $100 million in annual sales, according to sources, and is sold in all Sephora doors in the U.S. and Canada, as well as at Credo Beauty, indie boutiques, and direct-to-consumer via iliabeauty.com. The brand has a global presence in several countries, too. Growth has been supported through Series A funding by Silas Capital in 2018 with a $3 million raise. That was followed by Series B funding a year later by Sandbridge and Silas Capital with a raise of $10 million.
How fashion brands are navigating NFTs and what’s next for the metaverse
Glossy | 4 October 2021
Fashion has increasingly been engaging with NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, as gaming and digital fashion have come to the forefront. For its fall 2021 collection, Gucci partnered with the art auction house Christie’s on an NFT video called “Aria,” which sold for $25,000 in June. Christie’s was also where Beeple, the most famous digital artist, sold his piece for $69 million this year. This overnight success of NFTs is now leading Christie’s to accept auction bids with Ethereum, the most popular crypto-currency. Other brands have also dipped a toe in the digital pond in varying strategies, eager to take advantage of the boom that drives NFT collections to sell out in minutes.
RMS Beauty Acquired, David Olsen Joins as CEO
BOF | 8 October 2021
The American clean beauty brand is being acquired by Dallas based private equity firm Highlander. Founded by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift in 2009, the brand was self-funded and profitable, the company said in a statement announcing the acquisition. Swift is known for her work with clients like Gisele Bündchen, and her brand was one of the first natural beauty lines. It is known for its coconut oil products like the “Un” cover-up foundation concealer. The brand is distributed globally and counts Sephora and Space NK as retail partners. Olsen, who joined Highlander as a managing director in 2019, has an extensive history in beauty retail. He founded and sold an e-commerce platform to Dermstore in 2009, where he stayed until he left to launch the beauty category at Net-a-Porter. Most recently, he was the chief executive officer of prestige beauty retailer Cos Bar.